How we can all help shape the future of healthcare

New, innovative platform invites Canadians to help solve some of the country’s biggest healthcare challenges

Created for “Soaring

Innovative thinking doesn’t just come from scientists or business leaders. To help solve big problems that affect diverse communities, community-driven innovation is needed. That’s the guiding principle of Soaring with Roche. By elevating, redefining and looking more holistically at healthcare, Soaring with Roche will employ an equitable, human-centred approach to problem solving within the healthcare system. Roche Canada project leads Dvorah Richler and Michael Duong, who have led a number of collaborative health initiatives, explain how the platform will work, and share the five biggest health challenges the community has identified.

Roche Canada project leads Michael Duong and Dvorah Richler

What is Soaring with Roche?

MICHAEL DUONG: Soaring with Roche is an initiative, a movement, a desire to make changes so the system works better for patients. It’s an opportunity, it’s a platform, it’s hope and effort—with diverse people coming together.

DVORAH RICHLER: We started by asking people in Canada and around the world: “What are the biggest challenges in the healthcare system?” We initiated some great conversations, involving a cross-section of people, allowing those affected by health issues to share their challenges with us. We will now take those challenges and solve them through collaborations with individuals, organizations, innovators and governments. 

What are the five health challenges you’ve identified?

DR:Aging Powerfully encourages us to start thinking about prevention. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to get sick. Health Justice is about making sure everybody in Canada has the same opportunity to be healthy, because health is a fundamental human right. Waiting for Healthcare involves creating efficiencies to bring about an on-demand system where people receive healthcare in the right place, at the right time. Health Literacy is about helping people understand their health and their health data, and showing them how to navigate the health system to get the most out of it. And Data Sharing is that underpinning enabler that will bring all the information together. What we’ve discovered is how interdependent our five challenges are—the success of one can lead to the success of another.

Who are the participants?

DR: There are many industries and sectors that we’re hoping to bring together, different players who perhaps haven’t thought about getting involved in health reform before. Yes, there are scientists, researchers, academics, government agencies and hospitals, but we also have patients and community members who have a desire to see change. We want industries like finance and telecommunications to join. The health challenges we’re targeting are not new. Part of the reason they haven’t been solved is that it’s always the same people looking at them, doing things the same way, in silos. 

MD: Our goal is not only to bring the community together, but also to integrate all the layers, getting all the different sectors to work together to solve the different pieces of the puzzle. You can’t solve the problems by yourself. You must rely on your community—you have to reach out.

When will you begin to see real results?

DR: This is a long-term project bringing into play policy change and modernization of our healthcare system—and those aren’t simple or easy things. We’re looking at 2030 to 2035 as our window of change. Smaller milestones and short-term experiments will help us learn and grow. We then keep building momentum, so that the result is the best healthcare system possible.

MD: Soaring with Roche is not only about the monumental goals that we, as a community, have set for ourselves, it’s also about all of the progress we need to make to get to those goals. So, while it may take us more than a few years to get to the final destination, we expect a lot of real results—as intangible progress and learnings—to be realized very early on and throughout the entire journey.

Participation in Soaring with Roche is open to anyone with an interest in contributing to change in healthcare. Visit SoaringWithRoche.ca to join the movement and stay connected.

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